Mercedes C63 AMG Edition 507: PH Fleet

Noise is an important part of the AMG experience. And a timely issue to discuss, given I'm off to Affalterbach later this week to get the full tech briefing on the new 4.0-litre V8 engine that will soon provide the beating heart for the C63's replacement, not to mention the new Mercedes-AMG GT. And future Aston Martins too.

A reduction in swept capacity of over a third will be something of a fundamental shift in mindset for AMG, which has always gone for the 'bigger is better ... then go a bit bigger just to be sure' mentality when it comes to engines. OK, so we've already had a twin-turbo V8. But that was 5.5-litre so hardly downsized.

Never mind the numbers, it's the noise that matters
Never mind the numbers, it's the noise that matters
Even AMG has to embrace the trend though, especially given the punitive taxes applied to engines over 4.0 litres. The 'inside out' turbo V8 from Audi is already on the market in RS models (and Bentleys) and, though it must really annoy AMG, there's little choice but to keep within this limit.

Little doubt it'll do the numbers performance wise. But will it sound good?

The sound engineering that's gone into the C63 is, I think, absolutely perfect. There's a showy little blip of revs when you fire it up - I've taken to leaving the driver's door open of a morning when I first start up to bask in its glory - which is possibly a bit contrived. But other than that it seems remarkably free of the over stimulated theatrics performance car exhausts from hot hatches to supercars now feel it necessary to include. The C63 soundtrack is pitch perfect though. Loud enough to be noticeable without ever actually being unsociable enough to have people tutting, the way they might have if you were in a Subaru with a bean tin back box. Fire it up in a Waitrose car park and heads will turn, looking for the source of the noise. But it'll be a reflex action, not a 'who let that chav in here?' disgust. And they definitely wouldn't expect it to have come from the grey Mercedes estate either.

Dan convinced pal to buy a '63, still in good books
Dan convinced pal to buy a '63, still in good books
And on the move it's always, always there. You can feel it through your spine. Yet it's never intrusive. An engine of that size couldn't be anything other than dominant to the experience of driving this car. But the beauty is you can just be tickling along and still derive pleasure from it.

Boy, when you're pressing on though... The savage crack you get on full bore upshifts about one time in every five just makes me giggle. Some newer cars, A45 included, have been programmed to do it every time you change gear meaning the novelty is lost. The '63 will only do it every now and then, which makes it all the more exciting when it does happen. You'll probably now be thinking 'right then, where's the video...' A new clip is on the to-do list. Meanwhile here's the launch control one from a while back to hammer home the point.

Sod the numbers, just make sure it sounds good
Sod the numbers, just make sure it sounds good
Other things on the to-do list? Well, I've got a growing list of C63 owning PHers and intend to arrange a little meet at some point in the not too distant. The pal I talked into buying one thankfully seems to be enjoying exactly the same bonding process as I am, albeit a couple of months further down the line. We're pretty tedious company really, often to be found in the pub dreamily staring into the middle distance and sharing the love for our AMGs. The difference being he won't have to give his back in September.

Other observations on life with the 507? Well, in Comfort mode (my default for daily driving) the time consuming process of navigating the gear selector from P to D and 'soft' step-off actually makes for an embarrassingly slow departure off the line. I've not been parped from behind yet but no doubt a few have been mystified as to why I'm so slow away from the lights. There's always S or S+ mode but that's a bit savage for town driving. There's always the occasional Race Start option to liven things up of course. Or perhaps holding it on the brake and doing a proper rolling burnout up Teddington High Street.

Yes. That's what we need for next month. More noise. And some tyre smoke. On the case.

 2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507
Run by: Dan
On fleet since: March 2014
Mileage: 10,343
List price new: £68,470 before options (£80,075 as tested, comprising Privacy Glass £330, reversing camera £390, Lighting Package £150, three-zone climate control £590, Keyless Go £665, AMG Performance Media £2,040, Comand Online with six-disc changer £250, DAB £335, Harmon Kardon surround sound £650, phone pre-wiring with roof aerial £290, Designo Magno Platinum paint £3,660, rear axle limited-slip differential £1,745 and 19-inch wheels £510)
Last month at a glance: Nope, novelty not wearing off one bit

Previous reports:
C63 arrives, Dan hasn't let anyone else have a go since
Look, it's thirsty ... of course it's thirsty

Photos: Dave Smith

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (66) Join the discussion on the forum

  • wildman0609 03 Jun 2014

    I have started leaving the door open now when I fire it up too. Cold start up is amazing. Its an amazing car for just pootling along, but when you get a clear bit of back lane its just monstrous, you really do get out of it giggling. I find myself ringing out the lower gears to get the pops and bangs on down shift. I can't imagine a better car out there at the moment.

  • W124 03 Jun 2014

    The sound symposer things are like relic'd guitars. Just philosophically wrong.

  • Dave Hedgehog 03 Jun 2014

    dirty dirty sounding cars

    pay attention BMW

  • ghibbett 03 Jun 2014

    I let my Father take mine out for a spin at the weekend. Nothing fast - or so he says - but it sounded much louder from a bystanders' perspective. Made me biggrin

  • simonbamg 03 Jun 2014

    this might sound really sad but on cold start up ive taken to starting it then going round the back and pretending to get something out of the boot just to listen to it,taking it a step to far now.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment